Technology Steals Three Days From Me By Angela Hoy

I’ve chosen to whine long and loud this week about what happened to me last week. My laptop has had an electrical short for the past few weeks. The plug in the back would jiggle loose and I’d lose power. It also sucked the life out of two batteries. Sure, I had every intention of taking it in. But, as long as I could keep jiggling it back into working mode, I figured I could just put it off. Well, on Friday, it died for good. Luckily, I had backed up all my information the night before.

I spend so much time on my laptop (and abuse it so much) that it becomes quite an event when mine needs to go in the shop. We have to pay their “rush fee” (which is an extra $50/hour) and, while I usually get the machine back within 24 hours, it doesn’t always happen that way. So, during that time, I have to use another machine here. Problem is, that machine doesn’t have all my programs on it. By the time I get my machine back, I’m usually so far behind that I spend many stressful hours catching up.

We determined recently that if I had my own backup laptop – one that contains all my programs and that can just be loaded with my backed up mail and document files – life would be much less stressful when things go wrong. And, we could pay normal rates at the computer shop instead of expedited rates. Those really add up!

So, on Friday morning, Zach babysat Max and Mason while we darted out to Best Buy. Richard and I chose the biggest, baddest laptop they had. The faster it processes information, the more work I can get done (and the more time I can spend with the family). The only two reservations I had were: 1. It contained Windows Vista (that’s the only choice they have on all their laptops now); and 2. the keyboard was slightly different.

We then spent all day Friday, and most of Saturday, and all day Monday loading programs and data, and then trying to get those programs to work seamlessly with Windows Vista.

Let me tell you, it was not fun and I’m still trying to get things to work the way I need them to work. Not only that but it just would not work with some older programs that I purposely have kept using because they are easier to use than the upgrades (Adobe Acrobat 5.0 is just one example). So, we had to buy Adobe Acrobat 8.0, which I’m not thrilled with. Also, I can’t find my Photoshop disk anyway. I must have Photoshop. I’ll have to buy the entire program all over again. That will run about $600.

Anyway, by the time it’s all said and done, my little backup laptop will have ended up costing around $3500! Ouch!!

Don’t worry. I bought the extended warranty. So, even if I throw the danged thing against the wall before the week is out, it’s covered.

UPDATE: The laptop is now shutting down every half hour or so. I give up. We’re taking it back and are going to have the local computer place build a custom one for us…with Windows XP. >:(